Air show expected in Morgantown as No. 11 Oklahoma State comes to town
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Mason Rudolph vs. Will Grier. Get ready for an old-fashioned Big 12 throwdown.
The football should be flying around the field when Rudolph and No. 11 Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1) take on Grier and No. 22 West Virginia (5-2, 3-1) on Saturday.
Rudolph is the nation's passing yardage leader. Grier has the most touchdown passes with 26 and is the first Mountaineer to throw five touchdown passes in back-to-back games. The Florida transfer has surpassed 300 yards through the air in every game and has been praised for his pinpoint ability to hit a receiver in stride.
Oklahoma State has given up just four touchdown passes in conference play, fewest among league teams.
“This will be the best passing quarterback that we've faced this year,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “It will be a dogfight.”
Rudolph looks to beat West Virginia for the third straight year. He threw three interceptions against the Mountaineers in 2015 and three touchdowns against them last year.
“We are looking forward to the challenge,” Rudolph said. “We feel like we have a good plan.”
Rudolph, the school's career passing leader, is averaging 379 passing yards. Oklahoma State is third nationally in scoring offense at 43.7 points per game.
West Virginia is right behind at 43.3 points.
“It's going to be fun to play against a team like that,” Grier said.
Maybe not so much for the defenses.
“Welcome to the Big 12,” West Virginia linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton said. “They don't waste possessions.”
Grier and Rudolph don't wear capes. They have been vulnerable at times this season.
Grier is 1-2 against ranked opponents. Last week at Baylor, West Virginia built a 25-point lead in the first half but had to hold on for a 38-36 win.
Rudolph didn't throw a touchdown pass last week at Texas, and Oklahoma State needed overtime to win 13-10.
“It didn't have anything to do with Mason or our wideouts,” Gundy said. “We didn't run the ball very effective.”
The prolific quarterbacks boast outstanding supporting casts.
West Virginia's David Sills V has 15 receiving touchdowns, six more than anyone else in the country.
The Cowboys' James Washington leads the nation with nearly 131 receiving yards per game. Oklahoma State also has the Big 12 rushing leader in Justice Hill.
“They're a complete offense,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said, “that will get you in a bunch of different ways.”